Skip to main content

Clarence Ashley-Coo Coo Bird

Audio Preview

audio
Clarence Ashley-Coo Coo Bird


Published October 23, 1929


Recorded on October 23, 1929 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Greil Marcus describes this tunes as a "folk-lyric" tune "made up of verbal fragments that had no direct or logical relationship to each other." Ashley's banjo is tuned to G-modal, also referred to as Sawmill tuning. Some folklorists note that the cuckoo is an ancient symbol for the coming of summer.


1 - Coo Coo Bird
[MusicBrainz (recording)]
Source 78rpm>CD>MP3
Run time 2:58

comment
Reviews

Reviewer: bluesbanjoman - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 8, 2004
Subject: Cuckoo Bird
For those who don't know this, Clarence "Tom" Ashley was mainly responsible for guitar great Doc Watson's "discovery" in the early 60s.

Ashley plays in a style of banjo which was very prevalent at that time in the Southern mountains, called by various names such as: "clawhammer", "frailing" "rapping", and the like.
The technique is to hit some banjer strings with a fingernail and hit the head at the same time.

Mr. Ashley's singing style is though, what a lot of oldtime banjer pickers like me would call "the high lonesome sound".

But, there is one singer who went even higher and more lonesome than he. It was Roscoe Holcomb.
Reviewer: paulcurtis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 12, 2004
Subject: Oddly compelling
I downloaded quite a few of the recordings in the "78s" category, but this is the one I found myself listening to repeatedly. Expert, intense banjo pickin' ...the musical equivalent of two cups of coffee. And Ashley's voice has a haunted, obsessive quality I haven't the right words to describe.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Clarence Ashley
audio
eye 12,213
favorite 4
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Buell Kazee
audio
eye 11,400
favorite 4
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Clarence Ashley
audio
eye 11,240
favorite 6
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Clarence Ashley
audio
eye 16,140
favorite 7
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by The Leake County Revelers
audio
eye 5,894
favorite 4
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Samantha Bumgarner
audio
eye 6,034
favorite 3
comment 0
Source: 78RPM>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Buell Kazee
audio
eye 11,247
favorite 3
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: 78RPM>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by B. F. Shelton
audio
eye 21,665
favorite 9
comment 11
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 11 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers
audio
eye 12,549
favorite 6
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )
Source: 78RPM>CD>MP3
78 RPMs and Cylinder Recordings
by The Carter Family
audio
eye 61,318
favorite 29
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Source: 78rpm>CD>MP3